NBA Finals 2011: 3 Mavs Players Who Need to Turn It Around to Win Game 2

John ValentovicAnalyst IJune 1, 2011

NBA Finals 2011: 3 Mavs Players Who Need to Turn It Around to Win Game 2

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    Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals is officially in the books with the Miami Heat defeating the Dallas Mavericks 92-84, taking a 1-0 lead in the best of seven series.

    The first game of a series is typically used by both teams as an opportunity to feel each other out and to adjust to what the opposition is doing, and this game was no different.

    At times, there were stretches of excellent defense, while other times explosive offense took over.  And Game 1 was not without sloppy play, either.

    Ultimately, the Heat took care of business on their home court, leaving the Mavericks searching for answers to how they are going to leave Miami with a split of the first two games.

    Aside from Shawn Marion, who for most of the night looked like the best player on the floor for Dallas, no Mavericks player played particularly well.  Even Dirk Nowitzki had a rough go of it in Game 1.

    Here are three Mavs who must turn it around if Dallas wants to have a chance at winning Game 2.

Jason Terry

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    Terry started off the game hot, but turned into a complete non-factor in the second half.

    In fact, the "Jet" did more to hurt his team than to help it for the majority of the game.

    Not only did he shoot just 3-10, but his decision making was also suspect.  He forced a number of quick shots, especially late in the game, that weren't close at all.  When Miami had Dallas on the ropes, Terry should have found away to get Nowitzki more involved rather than jack up a quick shot.

    His defense was definitely suspect, as well.  It's no secret that Dwyane Wade is both quicker and stronger than Terry, but Terry can simply not allow Wade to have as much space as he did.  He spent most of the night retreating and giving ground to whoever he was defending, and the Heat did a good job of exploiting his suspect defense.

    While he is not going to be scorching-hot every game, Terry must find a way to impact the game in a variety of ways.  With his one rebound, one assist effort, he failed to do that in Game 1.

J.J. Barea

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    It just wasn't Barea's night.

    As usual, Barea did an excellent job driving the lane and putting pressure on the defense.  He was able to get to the rim a number of times and also got free for a number of jump shots, as well.

    The difference tonight?

    The Mavericks guard just couldn't get anything to fall.  He finished just 1-8 with two points.

    Barea was able to get the same looks that he did against the Thunder and the Lakers, but he couldn't knock down the shots like he did in those other series.  The majority of his shots in Game 1 were uncontested, and he just couldn't get them to drop.

    If he continues to get those same looks, it's crucial that he starts taking advantage of them.

Dirk Nowitzki

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    Nowitzki finished the night with 27 points, eight rebounds and two assists while shooting 12-12 from the free-throw lines.  At first glance, those are very impressive numbers.

    But Nowitzki took only 18 shots, and he failed to demand the ball late in the game when Miami began to pull away.

    Although he did shoot 12 free throws, Nowitzki needs to become even more aggressive in this series.  He passed up a number of opportunities he had at driving to the basket, instead choosing to shoot a turn-around jump shot or pass to a teammate.

    And quite frankly, he must do a better job on the boards, as well. 

    The Mavericks boast three seven-footers, including Nowitzki, and there is no way that they should allow the Heat to grab 16 offensive rebounds. 

    Dallas played spectacular defense on a number of occasions only to allow Miami to grab an offensive rebound and get second-chance points.

    That can't happen again in Game 2, or Dallas will be returning home down 2-0.